Public Speaking: Top 5 Mistakes Speakers Make While On Stage

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Public speaking is known as one of the most powerful ways to market your business. As a professional speaker and public speaking trainer, I have the opportunity to see many great speakers on stage. One trend that is on the rise is non-speakers who are smart enough to use public speaking to market their businesses. And it's great!

What's not so great is that many entrepreneurs have lots of know-how and value to offer when it comes to their businesses, but unfortunately not so much know-how by way of effective public speaking. In the spirit of constructive criticism and realizing there is always room for improvement for even the best speakers, the information in this article is meant to help.

With that in mind, I have noticed some well-meaning entrepreneurs making some mistakes while presenting their businesses. Hopefully knowing these top 5 mistakes will help you for the time when you get out there in front of a live audience.

Mistake 1: Rambling

If you've ever listened to a speaker and when he was done asked yourself, "What was that all about?" You know what a rambling speaker does. Most offenders of this "crime" have no direction and often no point.
Steer clear of this mistake: Carefully plan your presentation. Have a clear and focused goal and point of your speech. Follow your plan and that will help your audience follow you.

Mistake 2: Too-Crowded Visuals

Many speakers make the mistake of using Power Point or their hand-outs as a crutch for themselves as opposed to using them as a tool to help your audience better understand your presentation and focus on your core message.

Steer clear of this mistake: Don't write every word of your speech on a Power Point Presentation and call that a visual aid. It's a crutch for you and difficult on the audience. You're better off without it.

Mistake 3: Using Filler Words

A speech should feel like a conversation with your audience, yes, but there are a few things that may be acceptable in one to one conversation that you should avoid in a speech. Filler words like "you know" don't do much to enhance a conversation in general, but truly don't belong in any speech.

Steer clear of this mistake: Practice what you plan to say (see number 1) and become comfortable with the words you will use. The more prepared you are, the fewer filler words you are likely to use.

Mistake 4: Being Too Casual

Some people downplay the importance of dressing the part of a successful professional. However it is appropriate to follow through on your branding. For example my friend, Carrie Wilkerson, calls herself the "Barefoot Executive" so when she kicks off her shoes during a presentation that works for her.

Steer clear of this mistake: Wear clothing that makes sense for both your audience and your profession. There is no one set rule, but be aware of your audience's expectations and the fact that you are a business owner.

Mistake 5: Not Having ANY Offer

Not every speech should have the purpose of selling something, but it's a mistake to leave the stage without offering your audience reason for them to stay engaged and allow you to follow up with them after the event has ended.

Steer clear of this mistake: Make sure your audience members know exactly what comes next. Provide a clear way to continue dialog and interaction with them long after the speech is over.

About the Author:

In my business I train small and home-based service professionals how to communicate effectively online & in their communities to get more prospects, more clients, & more cash flow. I've been a speaker for more than 30 years. For More Info: www.signaturespeechsecrets.com

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